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Western Geographic Science Center


Land Cover Trends in the Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregion

30 years of land cover change outside Palmdale, California
30 years of land cover change outside Palmdale, California

The accompanying image shows roughly 30 years of land cover change in a sample block outside Palmdale, California, from 1973 to 2000. The size of the mapped area is 10 km x 10 km. The minimum mapping unit is 60 m x 60 m. The most common land cover conversion occurring here is the unidirectional change from a natural desert landscape (grassland/shrubs) to a developed landscape. Occasionally, mechanical disturbances, usually associated with ground scraping, leveling, and infrastructure development, are captured (shown in purple). These almost always lead to future development. This block had the highest change rate of any of the 40 sample blocks in the region with a 30.3 percent change from 1973 to 2000. The most highly dynamic change period was between 1986 and 1992.

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